U.S. and Russia May Keep Smallpox Samples

The World Health Organization’s executive board decided in a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, that the world’s remaining samples of the smallpox virus do not have to be destroyed. Even though smallpox was eliminated from nature more than 30 years ago, U.S. and Russian authorities have argued that they should retain their samples in case countermeasures are needed following a bioterror attack or release from an unsanctioned stock. The two approved repositories are maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and a Russian lab near Novosibirsk. The larger World Health Assembly is scheduled to vote on the matter in May.

 Source: The Wall Street Journal.


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